Tag Archive for: residential roofer

Avoid costly water damage from your roofing system’s inability to shed rainwater. Understanding how a roof sheds rainwater will help you determine what to install or repair to prevent leaks and costly water damages.

Roofing systems shed water using slope gravity gutters and downspouts

New Image Roofing Atlanta gathered information on how low-slope (flat) and steep-sloped roofing systems are engineered to shed rainwater.

Low-Slope Roofing System Water Drainage

Low-slope roofing systems, common in commercial and industrial buildings, present unique challenges when addressing water drainage. Unlike steep-slope roofs that allow water to naturally flow down and off the roof, low-slope roofs require a more intentional approach to prevent ponding while ensuring drainage.

Note: Low-slope roofing can be EPDM, TPO, PVC, or BUR systems.

Gravitational Flow and Slope Design

Successful water drainage on low-slope roofing systems relies in gravitational flow. While these roofs have a slight incline, it is not as steep as in residential roofing systems.

Low-slope roofs are designed to combat water accumulation challenges, with a subtle slope to guide water toward drainage points.

A roof’s slope is carefully calculated during the design phase, ensuring water flows efficiently toward designated areas where drains, scuppers, and gutters are placed strategically. This intentional slope is critical in preventing pooling water (ponding), as ponding leads to structural damage, leaks, and accelerated wear on the roofing material.

Roof Drains, Scuppers, and Gutters

Scuppers help low slope roofing systems shed water

Roof drains, scuppers, and gutters are the most common and cost-effective drainage solution for flat roofs. These components catch and direct rainwater as it rolls off the roof’s edge and divert the water into downspouts that dispense it at a safe distance from the foundation of the building. Consider the following:

  • Roof drains are essential components of low-slope roofing systems. These drains are typically installed at the lowest points of the roof to collect and funnel water away. They connect to a network of pipes that direct the water down and away from the building’s foundation.
  • Scuppers are openings along the edges of the roof’s parapet walls that allow water to drain into a downspout or directly off the roof. They act as overflow channels during heavy rainfall or when debris blocks primary drainage points.
  • Gutters are crucial in low-slope roofing systems as they channel water from the roof’s surface to downspouts. Regular maintenance (like keeping gutters clear of debris) is fundamental in preventing water blockages.

Low slope roofing systems shed water using drains

Note: Drains running through a building or structure (internal drains) are serviced by a plumber when they experience blockages.

Residential Shingle Roofing Systems

Roofing systems shed water using the roof slope and gravity

Residential shingle roofing systems with steeper slopes leverage gravity and the roofing materials’ natural properties to channel water efficiently. From asphalt to metal shingles, these systems shed water swiftly, preventing leaks and protecting the underlying structure.

Roof Slope and Gravity

The steep slope of residential shingle roofing systems is fundamental in their ability to shed water effectively. Gravity plays a significant role, pulling water downward and away from the roof’s surface. The slope’s angle, often significantly steeper than low-slope roofs, facilitates quick and efficient drainage.

The roof pitch is carefully calculated during the design phase to ensure optimal water shedding. While the primary purpose of this slope is to encourage water runoff, it naturally contributes to the structure’s aesthetic appeal, influencing its architectural style.

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Overlapping Shingles and Surface Tension

Roofing systems shed water using overlapping shingles

The materials used in residential shingle roofing systems are selected for their durability and ability to shed water. These shingles overlap, creating a seamless barrier that prevents water from infiltrating the roof.

Surface tension, the cohesive property of water molecules, aids in shedding water. As rainwater flows down the roof, it adheres to the shingle surface. The overlapping design encourages the water to travel downward, preventing it from seeping between the shingles and compromising the roof’s integrity.

Note: Exposed nails may sometimes provide additional reinforcement. When said nails are not sealed properly, they may begin to back out, allowing water infiltration and costly damages.

Tip: Read more about residential sloped roofing systems at newimageroofingatlanta.com/residential-roofing-what-you-need-to-know/

Eaves, Flashing, Drip Edges, Gutters, and Downspouts

Collecting rain water and carrying it away from your home’s walls and foundation is the roof’s drainage system (eaves, flashing, drip edges, gutters, and downspouts). This system prevents soil erosion and foundation damage. Consider the following sloped roof drainage components:

Eaves – Eaves (the roof’s edges that overhang the exterior walls), play a crucial role in water drainage. They provide additional protection by preventing water from running down the walls and causing severe damage. Eaves also contribute to the roof’s aesthetic appeal, defining its silhouette.

Eaves at the edge of a roofing system help it shed water

Flashing – Flashing (typically metal) is strategically installed in vulnerable areas like roof valleys, chimneys, vents, and other penetrations. Flashing acts as a water-resistant barrier, directing water away from these critical points and preventing leaks.

Roofing system flashing helps it shed water

Drip Edges – Drip edges, installed along the outer edges of the roof, guide water into the gutters and away from the fascia. They protect the underlying structure from water damage and help prevent issues like wood rot.

Drip edges shed water off the roof away from the structure

Gutter Systems – Gutters and downspouts play a vital role in roofing systems by channeling water from the roof and away from the foundation. Regular maintenance (including keeping gutters clear of debris) is fundamental to prevent blockages that interrupt water flow.

Roofing systems shed water using gutters and downspouts

Note: Gutters and downspouts must be properly sized to accommodate water runoff volume. If a structure’s gutters are too small, they overflow when heavy rain falls.

Tip: A maintenance plan can help detect and correct drainage issues in their infancy before developing into costly damages.

Roof Drainage Systems

In this article, you discovered how roofing systems drain rainwater and the components that efficiently divert the runoff from the structure, preventing water damage.

Knowing how a roofing system sheds rainwater will enable you to make informed decisions when installing, maintaining, or repairing your residential or commercial roofing system.

Ignoring your roof’s drainage system can lead to leaks, costly water damages, and challenging structural repairs.


New Image Roofing Atlanta

2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 680-0041

When your roofing system is damaged, avoid being bullied by your insurance carrier or dealing with unscrupulous contractors. Understanding how insurance claims are handled and how to vet roofing contractors will get your home or business back to normal quickly.

Residential roof damage insurance claims

newimageroofingatlanta.com gathered information on roof damage insurance claims, the inspection process, and hiring a reputable roofing contractor.

Roof Inspections and Insurance Claims

You should consider filing an insurance claim if your roof damage emergency resulted from severe weather, tree fall, or debris impact (act of God), before any work begins. To do so, gather your insurance policy, facts about the damage, and call your insurance carrier to initiate the claim process and schedule an inspection.

During an evaluation inspection, the insurance adjuster must document the following when assessing your loss:

  • Damages
  • Material needed for repairs
  • Labor costs to be allocated for repairs


  • Was the roof damaged sufficiently to declare it a total loss
  • Material required for replacement or re-roof
  • Labor costs to be allocated for replacement or re-roof

Roofing insurance claims after wind damage

To ensure you receive the maximum benefit from your insurance policy, call a professional roofing contractor to have an independent assessment done (your roofing contractor may schedule their inspection to coincide with the adjuster’s evaluation).

Note: An insurance adjuster cannot determine whether a roofing system has sustained sufficient damage to approve or deny your claim. They are only there to collect evidence for the claims department.

Tip: If your roof damage repair costs do not exceed your insurance policy’s deductible, you may be better off paying out-of-pocket for repairs.

Watch this informative video explaining how insurance deductibles work.

Request a Reinspection – If you find discrepancies between the insurance adjuster’s and the roofing contractor’s findings, you can request a reinspection or contract an independant insurance public adjuster.

Reinspections are common practice, in which the insurance adjuster will meet with the roofing contractor to review the damages done to your roof.

Upon approval of the claim to repair or replace your roofing system, your insurance provider may select the roofing contractor to complete the work. They may also leave that determination up to you.

Note: In regions where a disaster has occurred, insurance companies may set up emergency stations and follow special temporary procedures to expedite repairs and rebuilding.

Roof damage insurance claims after natural disasters

In these scenarios, it is crucial to keep receipts and records for temporary repairs, lodging, and meals, as your insurance company will likely reimburse you. The amounts you can claim during an emergency displacement are typically defined in your homeowners insurance policy.

Hiring A Roofing Contractor – What to Look For

Natural disasters and severe weather events attract some of the worst characters in the roofing business preying on unsuspecting property owners under immense pressure to get things back to normal.

Replacing a structure’s roof is a significant investment that needs to be done right, by a contractor that can be fully vetted and held accountable for the quality of their work.

When fielding bids from contractors to repair or replace your roof, consider the following factors into the decision-making process.

Does the contractor have:

  • A written proposal
  • A valid business license
  • A permanent business location
  • In-state references
  • Proof of insurance
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of your roofing system
  • Up-to-date industry education
  • Material and workmanship warranties
  • A maintenance proposal

Look or ask for:

  • Manufacturer’s certifications
  • Roofing association memberships
  • Industry awards and recognition
  • Google reviews

Roofing contractor selection and Google reviews

Note: Request a welcome packet or business presentation with the contractor’s general information like this.

Finally, avoid doing business with roofing contractors that:

  • Cannot verify their company information and statements
  • Provide an excessively high or low bid
  • Cannot provide local references
  • Only deal in cash
  • Pressure or rush you to sign a contract

It is generally advised to acquire quotes from a minimum of three contractors for your roofing needs. This allows you to compare prices and scopes when determining which contractor to award your business.

Insurance Claims and Roofers

In this article, you discovered essential information about roof inspections, insurance claims, deductibles, and hiring a roofing contractor.

Once you understand how roof inspections and insurance claims work, you can be more vigilant about the roof repair process and prevent costly out-of-pocket expenses.

Making poor decisions during an insurance claim process or when hiring your roofing contractor may leave you with costly out-of-pocket expenses and poor quality repairs.


New Image Roofing Atlanta

2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 680-0041

Are you looking for a durable and economical roofing solution? A built-up roofing system (BUR) may be what you are looking for.

Commercial low slope or flat roofing

newimageroofingatlanta.com gathered information on built-up roofing systems (BUR), its benefits, installation, maintenance, and how it compares to other popular roofing systems. Consider the following:

What is Built-Up Roofing (BUR)?

Built-Up Roofing (BUR) is a time-tested, staple roofing system in the construction industry. This roofing system is composed of multiple layers of bitumen (asphalt or coal tar) and reinforcing fabrics, typically fiberglass or organic felts. These layers are applied in a repetitive fashion, creating a seamless, durable membrane. Gravel or mineral granules are often embedded into the top layer to protect it from the elements and provide significant UV resistance.

BUR Installation

Installing a built-up roofing system is a somewhat labor-intensive process that requires the expertise of skilled roofing contractors. Here is a step-by-step guide to how BUR is installed:

Built up roofing system layers

  1. Deck Preparation – The process begins with preparing the roof deck, ensuring it is clean, dry, and in good condition. Existing roofing material is removed, and any necessary repairs are made.
  2. Vapor Barrier Installation – A vapor barrier is installed to prevent any moisture from entering the building through the roof. This layer is essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.
  3. Insulation – Insulation is added to improve energy efficiency and temperature control. Insulation can help reduce heating and cooling costs.
  4. Felt Layers – The first layer of roofing felt is applied directly over the insulation. This is typically a base sheet, and is secured using hot asphalt or adhesive.
  5. Bitumen Application – Multiple layers of bitumen are applied over the base sheet. The bitumen is heated and spread evenly across the roof, followed by the application of a reinforcement fabric.
  6. Reinforcement Fabric – Fiberglass or organic felts are embedded into the hot bitumen. This adds significant strength and stability to the roofing system.
  7. Repeat – Steps 5 and 6 are repeated until the desired number of layers is achieved. A BUR system typically consists of three to five layers.
  8. Surface Layer – The top layer or cap sheet, is made of bitumen and covered with aggregate materials like gravel or mineral granules. This layer provides protection against weather and UV radiation.
  9. Final Inspection – After the surface layer is installed, a final inspection is performed to ensure that the roofing system is correctly installed, and there are no defects.
  10. MaintenanceRegular maintenance is essential for a BUR system to maximize its lifespan and performance. Periodic inspections, cleaning, and repair of any damaged areas are crucial to its long lifespan.

BUR Advantages

Built up roofing systems require a maintenance plan

Built-Up Roofing has several advantages contributing to its enduring popularity:

  • Proven Durability – BUR systems are known for their long lifespan, often exceeding 20 years or more with regular maintenance. The roofing system’s multiple layers and redundancy make it resistant to leaks and damage.
  • Waterproofing – The bitumen layers and reinforcing fabrics create a seamless, waterproof barrier that effectively protects the building from any water infiltration.
  • Thermal Performance – The insulation layers in BUR systems can enhance a building’s energy efficiency, reducing heating and cooling costs.
  • Fire Resistance – BUR systems can be made with fire-resistant materials, making them an excellent choice for buildings in regions prone to wildfires or with strict fire codes.
  • UV Resistance – The top layer of aggregate materials offers UV protection, extending the roofing system’s lifespan.

BUR Disadvantages

While Built-Up Roofing offers multiple benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks:

  • Installation Complexity – BUR installation is labor-intensive and requires experienced roofers. This can increase the initial installation cost.
  • Weight – BUR systems can be heavy, potentially requiring additional structural support for some buildings.
  • Maintenance Requirements – Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure a BUR system’s longevity, which can add to the overall cost of ownership.
  • Odor and Fumes – The installation process involves heating bitumen, which releases unpleasant odors and fumes. Proper ventilation is necessary during installation.

TPO and PVC Roofing System Comparison

To make an informed decision about your roofing system, it’s essential to compare BUR to other popular options, like Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) roofing systems.

TPO Roofing Vs. BUR

TPO membranes vs built up roofing

TPO roofing is a single-ply membrane roofing system made from a blend of rubber and other materials. Here’s how it compares to BUR:

  • Installation – TPO roofing is relatively easier and quicker to install compared to BUR, which can significantly reduce labor costs.
  • Durability – BUR is known for its durability and long lifespan, often exceeding TPO systems. TPO can be more vulnerable to punctures and tears.
  • Energy Efficiency – TPO roofing reflects sunlight effectively, helping reduce cooling costs. However, BUR systems with added insulation can achieve similar energy efficiency.
  • Cost – TPO roofing can be cost-effective in terms of installation, but BUR may provide better long-term value due to its durability.

PVC Roofing Vs. BUR

PVC membranes vs built up roofing

PVC roofing, like TPO, is a single-ply membrane roofing system made of polyvinyl chloride. Here’s how it compares to BUR:

  • Installation – PVC roofing installation is similar to TPO (ease and speed). It may be a more cost-effective option for initial installation.
  • Durability – BUR is often considered more durable and resilient against severe weather conditions. PVC roofing may be more prone to damage over time.
  • Energy Efficiency – PVC roofing has excellent UV resistance and reflects sunlight effectively, providing energy savings. However, BUR can achieve similar results with added insulation.
  • Cost – PVC roofing can be cost-effective for initial installation, but BUR offers better long-term value and longevity.

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Built-Up Roofing Systems

In this article, you discovered what built-up roofing is, how it is installed, its advantages and disadvantages, and how it compares to other low slope roofing systems.

Understanding the various roofing system qualities, advantages, and disadvantages allows you to make an informed decision when determining which roofing system is best suited for your needs.

Unfamiliarity with roofing system advantages and disadvantages may lead you to installing an overpriced or improper roof on your residential or commercial structure.


New Image Roofing Atlanta

2020 Howell Mill Rd NW Suite 232
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 680-0041